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Property and Liability Insurance Principles, 2d ed.

Reviewer: Dongsae Cho, Quinnipiac College

Any instructor who teaches property and liability insurance as a separate course will find it difficult to choose a suitable textbook. Many instructors use a part of introductory risk management and insurance textbooks that deal with the subject of property and liability insurance. The problem is that the chapter materials for this specific topic are not sufficient enough to cover the entire course. To partially solve this problem, many instructors bring in a considerably large amount of outside information to supplement the inadequate introductory textbooks.

Given such a situation, the title of this book could be eyecatching to some instructors who are looking for a fitting textbook for that course. This book is designed for insurance practitioners to study for one of the three courses in the Program in General Insurance of the Insurance Institute of America, and also to prepare for national examinations in an effort to continue their professional development. The major purpose of this book is to cover property and liability insurance principles.

Chapter 1 discusses three important aspects of insurance: insurance as a risk transfer tool, insurance as a business, and insurance as a legal contract. Chapter 2 examines different types of insurance providers, such as stock, mutual, and other types of insurers, major issues related to the regulation of the insurance business, and certain government insurance programs such as Social Security, unemployment, and workers' compensation. Chapters 3 through 6 cover principal operational aspects of property and liability insurers such as marketing, underwriting, and claims adjusting. Additionally, this part of the book discusses how to measure and monitor the financial performance of property and liability insurers.

Chapter 7 deals with risk management. Several steps to follow in managing the pure risk within a business firm are discussed along with the benefits of risk management and applications of risk management principles to real world problems. Chapters 8 through 12 focus on property and liability insurance contracts and discuss major features of property and liability insurance contracts, various types of property and liability loss exposures, and several important property and liability insurance contract provisions.

This book will serve its clearly stated purpose very well to help insurance professionals study for the national examinations in this particular area and accomplish continuing professional development. This book could be used in colleges to teach a property and liability insurance course. A merit of this book for a college textbook is that only property and liability insurance is addressed - unlike other major textbooks, which include a few chapters on risk management, several others in life and health insurance, and yet a few others in employee benefit plans.

Another merit is that this book well summarizes the basics of property and liability insurance contracts, including homeowners insurance, automobile insurance, commercial property insurance, commercial general liability insurance, and others. For example, different types of property covered in many property and liability insurance contracts are discussed in general terms such as buildings, contents of buildings, money and securities, motor vehicles and trailers, property in transit, ships and their cargo, and boiler and machinery. Usually, in most textbooks, this subject is addressed over and over again every time a different insurance policy is introduced. Therefore, this book will provide instructors and students with a bird's eye view of property and liability insurance coverages.

Despite these merits, it has weaknesses for a college textbook. Most textbooks have chapter objectives or summaries, review or study questions, and/or discussion questions. Some good books have cases to simulate real world applications of textbook principles. Most books offer citations or references for researchers to locate the original sources of text materials. But this book offers none of this useful information.

In most textbooks, some essential property and liability insurance contracts are covered individually (for example, homeowners insurance, automobile insurance, commercial property insurance, and commercial liability insurance). By going over these insurance contracts, students learn how these contracts can be used to deal with risk management problems of families and businesses. In this book, however, only general features are discussed without detailed analyses of such insurance contracts.

Although this book has limited value as a college textbook for these reasons, as a reference book, it certainly will help instructors comprehend the general concepts of property and liability insurance.
COPYRIGHT 1997 American Risk and Insurance Association, Inc.
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Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Cho, Dongsae
Publication:Journal of Risk and Insurance
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 1, 1997
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